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Materials for the future

This year the Surface Design Show presents ‘Future Thinking’, an innovative display of emerging materials in the marketplace.


Curated by Dr Sascha Peters from Haute Innovation, an innovation consultant and materials specialist from Germany, Future Thinking will highlight the truly cutting edge products and technologies that will make a project stand out from the norm.


Bling Crete™ light reflecting concrete is a new genre of material which combines the positive characteristics of concrete (fire safety, solidity) with those of retroreflection. Retroreflecting surfaces send incoming rays of light (sunlight or artificial light) back precisely in the direction of the source of light, creating stunning and immersive environments.

The theme of advanced materials is continued with Future Carbon. Using carbon super-composites Future Carbon can create new, high-performance materials with specific mechanical, electrical or thermal characteristics, each tailored to the specific needs of customers. Whilst Hollomet’s metal foam light system is part of a range of cellular materials that achieve not only a drastic reduction of mass and material, but can be created with specific characteristics: noise absorption, thermal insulation, energy absorption, mechanical insulation, etc.


Style is combined with practicality in Makrolon Ambient’s polycarbonate panels. Filled with aerogel, the sheets offer excellent thermal insulation, combined with high light transmission and optimum light diffusion. Three to four times lighter than glass with translucent ribs that enhance the aesthetic appeal, the panels allow high solar gains in passive houses with no blinding effects from sunlight.


Proving that the natural world can offer awesome and unexpected materials, Organoid Technology uses a variety of organic fibres, including sugar cane and nettles, to create biodegradable composites which can quickly and easily be made into double bended elements, like trade-fair stands or store constructions, nonbearing fronts or self-supporting free-form roofing.

BarkTex Tururi is showing the biodegradable shoe. Cultivated from the Mutuba tree, BARK CLOTH®  is 100% plant fibre, an authentic organic “living” cloth at the interface between textile and wood. Used for many purposes, including wall coverings, as console trim in cars, or as an expressive highlight on the most fashionable catwalks, each cloth is unique.


Jólan van der Wiel’s award-winning gravity stool shows how innovation in the process and tooling can create unique and inspirational products. By combining iron filings, resin and the power of magnetism, Jólan manipulates material to create a unique and highly memorable form and aesthetic.


The show’s director, Christopher Newton, commented, “Future Thinking highlights the innovative thinking that goes into the development and selection of materials and technology that influence so many aspects of the work of architects and designers.”


Surface Design Show takes place 5-7 February 2013 at the Business Design Centre, London.




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